Frozen Weirdwater

Wrong Way Train Trust me...sitting at the head end of a sky train car hurtling into a tunnel marked DO NOT ENTER. A strange part of the journey on the way to the place in this blog's last photo.

Wrong Way Train
Trust me…sitting at the head end of a sky train car hurtling into a tunnel marked DO NOT ENTER. A strange part of the journey on the way to the place in this blog’s last photo.

CLICK ON PHOTOS TO ENLARGE

All photos taken with my cell phone)

Weirdwater is a term of endearment I gave to Shearwater when I first arrived. It is a ‘Hooterville’ sort of outpost manned by unique characters, aberrant personalities and general misfits. I am one of them. I make no apologies for clinging to my individuality. After a few days in a large city I’ve affirmed my refusal to join the vast ranks of the faceless and mindless. As my hero Billy Connolly says, “Feckin’ beigists!”

Despite being involved with hurtling endeavours most of my life, I still have a fascination with the speed we creatures nonchalantly get around on our planet. Yesterday I started out within the nest of a few million people. It took me less than an hour and a half to cover the congested miles from North Vancouver to the airport terminal. There is no way anyone in a car could cover that distance within a multiple of the time and cost. I sat at the very front of the Canada Line Skytrain as we hurtled between stations. Two ladies in the seat behind spoke in loud Arabic. A wonderful language to listen to, both musical and staccato. It sounds as if that language is spoken from the back of the mouth, instead of the front as English is spoken. I need to develop a better grasp of my mother tongue before worrying about anyone else’s. At least today I write without the brain-addling effects of residual hospital medications and the resultant poor grammar. Within the muddle that Vancouver has become, as it morphs into a world-class city, I think it is wonderful to realize the richness of ethnic diversity and how that enhances our collective Canadian identity.

Oddly, contemplating communications, the night before I watched a splendid new movie called ‘Arrival.’ It was largely about learning how to find a common working language with aliens who had dropped in to help us resolve our global issues. No graphic violence or sex but very absorbing and thought-provoking. It was well done and kept me awake, (which may be due in part to a defective theatre furnace.) So now that I’ve survived the adventure of a hospital visit, fondled fresh produce yesterday on Lonsdale Street, watched a movie and savoured various ethnic cuisines I’m back to the blunt reality of being back here and living within parameters that are presently frozen hard. Despite the warnings of global warming it seems we are in the grasp of an advancing ice age.

Above the storm. Beneath the clouds a winter storm rages with blasting wind and bulleting snow. Warmer, moist Pacific air comes ashore rising over the colder heavier outflow air descending from inlaid.

Above the storm.
Beneath the clouds a winter storm rages with blasting wind and bulleting snow. Warmer, moist Pacific air comes ashore rising over the colder heavier outflow air descending from inland. Snow, snow, snow!

Holy Snappin'! The flags crack in a stout winter wind. The boing sea at the edge of the Port Hardy airstrip. The green stain on the wing is residual de-icing fliud applied in Vancouver.

Holy Snappin’!
The flags crack in a stout winter wind. The boing sea at the edge of the Port Hardy airstrip. The green stain on the wing is residual de-icing fliud applied in Vancouver.

Say no more. This photo explains it all. A very ugly weather day.

Say no more. This photo explains it all. A very ugly weather day.

Are we having fun? I was very happy to be inside the airplane instead of in a boat down below.

Are we having fun? I was very happy to be inside the airplane instead of in a boat down below.

Whoosh! Down underneath the solid overcast we hurtle northward past Safety Cove on Calvert Island. We have a wonderful tailwind.

Whoosh! Down underneath the solid overcast we hurtle northward past
Safety Cove on Calvert Island. We have a wonderful tailwind.

Yes! Readers know it by now. Hakai Pass country.

Yes! Readers know it by now. Hakai Pass country.

Any port in a storm. A safe enough anchorage but a boat on the hook there would be twisting and grinding on its anchor chain. A big catspaw is clearly visible well into the bay. Been there, done that. All too often!

Any port in a storm.
A safe enough anchorage but a boat on the hook there would be twisting and grinding on its anchor chain. A big catspaw is clearly visible well into the bay. Been there, done that. All too often!

The peaks of Denny Island. White patches beneath are snow-covered bogs.

The peaks of Denny Island. White patches beneath are snow-covered bogs.

My flight home was put on a reduced schedule because of a dire weather warning. After a treatment in the deicing station we ascended into the encroaching blizzard and flew north with the front tickling up under the edges of our kilt. We landed in Port Hardy in weather conditions that were on the edge then raced on up the coast with a brisk tailwind. The good old boy up front threw his IFR book out and dove underneath the clag to slap us safely down at Bella Bella in record time. This old pilot always loved flying low and fast. I enjoyed the ride thoroughly and wouldn’t have done a thing differently. (high praise indeed!)

Bella Bella no, not the big white patch. that's bog. The community is strung along the shoreline in front of the bog land. It is the center of the Heiltsuk Nation. The airfield is to the west of the village, on the right side of the photo.

Bella Bella
No, not the big white patch. That’s bog. The community is strung along the shoreline in front of the bog land. It is the center of the Heiltsuk Nation. The airfield is to the west of the village, on the right side of the photo.

On short final, a few seconds before landing in Bella Bella, Shearwater is at approximately the two o'clock position above the bright gleam, at the top of Kliktsoatli Harbour. HOME IS WHERE THE BOAT IS.

On short final, a few seconds before landing in Bella Bella. Shearwater is at approximately the two o’clock position above the bright gleam, at the top of Kliktsoatli Harbour. HOME IS WHERE THE BOAT IS! The view is Eastward over Seaforth Channel, Rithet Island is to the right of center, Lamma Pass in the distance on the right.

Now here I sit in old ‘Seafire’ trying to stay warm. The forecast is for a long spell of cold weather with temperatures about fifteen degrees below normal. A massive Arctic high is parked in the middle of the continent and outflow winds all the way from Saskatchewan whistle through the rigging. The water supply is frozen, the cabin is sixty degrees inside with a forecast of descending temperatures over the next several days. The dock pops and squeaks in the cold. Well I have complained incessantly about the eternal rain! BBBBugga! Be careful what you wish for.

Where the blogs come from... SEAFIRE is moored behind the islet beneath the arrow. Lamma Pass is beyond Denny Island. Past that is Campbell Island and on its Western side the waters open onto the open Pacific. To the right of the arrow the large building is the remaining WWII aircraft hangar where I work. The T-shape of the guest dock is visible. Between it and the hangar are the restaurant/pub, grocery store, hotel, fishing lodge, laundromat, a grocery store, marine store and novelty store. The postal code is V0T 1B0: Very Odd Town Only 1 Bar THAZZIT! Downtown Weirdwater

Where the blogs come from… SEAFIRE is moored behind the islet beneath the arrow. Lamma Pass is beyond Denny Island. Past that is Campbell Island and on its Western side the waters open onto the open Pacific. To the right of the arrow the large building is the remaining WWII aircraft hangar where I work. The T-shape of the guest dock is visible. Between it and the hangar are the restaurant/pub, grocery store, hotel, fishing lodge, laundromat, a grocery store, marine store and novelty store. The postal code is V0T 1B0:
Very Odd Town One Bar Only
THAZZIT! Downtown Weirdwater

You haven’t seen a tree until you’ve seen its shadow from the sky.” — Amelia Earhart

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